The release of the new Titan X graphics card from Nvidia has heralded a spate of reinvigorated GPU benching thanks to a maxed out Maxwell architecture that on paper at least, blows all other single GPU cards out of the water. Let’s have a look at the card itself and also what its arrival means to an overclocking community that is already rubbing its thermal paste stained hands at the prospect of what this mammoth GPU can do.
Nvidia Titan X cards have been available for a week or so and as with the first iteration of the Titan series, it is an exclusive card design that extends Nvidia’s high-end enthusiast graphics range beyond their standard GeForce offerings with a single-GPU that sits firmly at the top of the food chain. A Titan X card will set you back somewhere in the region of $1,300 USD and is based on the Maxwell architecture that we see on the current GeForce 900 series range. Maxwell replaced Kepler as Nvidia’s latest and greatest technology and with the new GM200 chip that adorns the Titan X we see Maxwell in its most aggressive form. It boasts a transistor count of over 8 billion and a physical die size of around 600 square millimetres, making it in all respects the biggest, meanest and most intimidating consumer graphics chip ever created.
The target market for these cards is actually broader than you might think, a notion born-out by the fact that just a week or so after launch the card can actually be difficult to acquire. As a single card, single GPU setup the Titan X offers plenty for serious gamers who want to crank up the resolution to 4K and still have the horsepower to enjoy ultra-high detail. This might sound overkill, but according to reviews out there, this card can pump out playable 40+ fps on Crysis 3 using High-Detail settings at a resolution of 3840 x 2160 – a good 10 fps better than equivalent GTX 980 or GTX 780Ti rigs. At 1440p you can expect a healthy 60fps on Very-High detail settings. Can it run Crysis? Like a beast it can.
But even if we agree that 4k gaming is the future and a bottleneck that will be un-blocked as technologies improve, the point from a HWBOT perspective is of course that these Titan X cards are being lapped up by the global overclocking community with the enthusiasm of a kitten on catnip and cream. Overclock.net in typical fashion has a fairly busy ‘Titan X Owners Club’ thread where already dozens of members populate the list of extreme hardware users who have forked out for a Titan X card, and a few more who are well on their way to bragging about SLI’d Titan X builds.
The potential from an OC perspective is very apparent from just looking at the spec sheet. The Titan X is based on the GM200 GPU which replaces the GM204 found on GTX 970 and 980 cards. The Nvidia marketing machine refers to the GM200 as Big Maxwell, a fitting moniker as the beast has a standard clock of 1GHz pushing 3,072 Cuda cores. This is substantially more than its nearest relative, the GTX 980 which has to make do with only 2,048 cores, and its predecessor the GeForce Titan which features 2,688 cores. It’s not just in a straightforward core count that we find the Titan X to be peerless however. The amount of memory installed on the card has been doubled to a massive 12GB of DDR5 clocked at 7.0Gbps that uses a memory interface 384-bits wide capable of 336.5 GB/Sec. Drooling yet?
The card uses pretty much the same cooling design that we saw on the first Titan card with virtually identical aesthetics – a moot point for serious overclockers who are going to use custom water cooling blocks or even LN2 pots, but hey I’m just saying, it does still look good in black. The ports configuration is similar to what you get on a GTX 980 card with DVI-I, Triple DisplayPort 1.2 and one HDMI 2.0. This means you can show off maximum resolutions of up to 5K (5120 x 3200) via DisplayPort.
Here’s a couple of great videos from our buddy Linus and an alternative (and deeply hilarious) perspective from Jayz, for whom all is not as rosy as you might think.
Extreme Overclocking – A Guide by Der8auer
It’s early days in terms of records and benching with the GM200 chip but for sure we are seeing the elite GPU pushers are getting down to some fine work with FUGGER, k|ngp|n, Matose and leading the way. Check out the records so far in the image below:
(Source: HWBOT – Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan X)
For those who are aiming for the Hardware and Global First Place results, Der8auer pubished an excellent guide on how to install an external power supply on the Titan X graphics card. You can find the guide here: click. To end, here are a couple of hot shots from the GeForce Titan X builds and mods!
The highest frequency achieved so far, using liquid nitrogen, is 2020 MHz by K|ngp|n in 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme. He scored 11,612 marks and a Global First Place.
The highest frequency achieved so far on water cooling is 1606 MHz by Jpmboy in 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra. He scored 5,428 marks.